Submit a Poem
Get Your Premium Membership
spacer

Long Youth Poems | Long Youth Poetry

Long Youth Poems. These are the most popular long Youth by PoetrySoup Members. You can search for long Youth poems by poem length and keyword.

See also: Famous Long Poems

Long Poems
Long poem by Kim van Breda | Details |

OUR BABY GIRL TURNS 21

OUR BABY GIRL TURNS 21

ON 1ST JULY 1990~ THE ANGELS DID SOMETHING ALMIGHTY
FROM HEAVEN THEY SENT US OUR LIFE-LONG DESIRE-A PRECIOUS DAUGHTER TO LOVE AND ADMIRE.
TRUE TO YOUR NATURE YOU ARRIVED WITHOUT FUSS OR PAIN--THE FIRST TIME OUR EYES MET WE KNEW OUR LIVES WOULD NEVER BE THE SAME

AS A BABY AND TODDLER YOU MADE US SO PROUD
YOUR VERY LONG HAIR, GREEN EYES AND SMILE-
ALL THOSE GOOD LOOKS MADE YOU STAND OUT IN A CROWD
YOU STARTED TALKING EARLY WITH MANY VOICEPRINTS 
YOUR CHARM AND GOOD LOOKS HAVE NOT STOPPED SINCE
YOU LOVED YOUR DOLLS AND PRAMS-- DREAMT OF BEING A “SINGER”
 AND VERY QUICKLY LEARNED HOW TO WRAP YOUR DAD AROUND YOUR LITTLE FINGER
YOUR BIG BROTHER DEVON--BEST FRIEND AND PROTECTER 
MOST OF THE TIME YOU GOT ON PERFECTLY TOGETHER

FROM AN EARLY AGE YOU SHOWED YOUR LOVE OF SWIMMING
AGE TWO AND A HALF YOU WERE ABLE AND WILLING
TO SWIM UNDER WATER AND DO MANY LENGTHS
THIS WAS CLEARLY ONE OF YOUR SPORTING STRENGTHS
AT AGE THREE YOU COULD BARELY WAIT TO START PLAYSCHOOL
“MISS INDEPENDENCE”, WAS YOUR GENERAL RULE
THE SLIDE AND JUNGLE GYM WERE YOUR FAVOURITE SPOTS
 AND TO OUR HORROR YOU WOULD CLIMB RIGHT TO THE TOP!
AT AROUND THIS TIME, YOUR FIRST BOYFRIEND YOU MET-
 HE LIVED NEXT DOOR, AND HIS NAME WAS BRETT

SOON IT WAS TIME FOR  PRE-SCHOOL
YOU LOVED YOUR TEACHER--YOUR NEW FRIENDS WERE COOL
‘SPRING BONNETS’ AND THE END OF YEAR SCHOOL PLAYS
THE TEDDY BEAR CLASS GAVE YOU SOME REAL SPECIAL DAYS
NEXT WAS ‘BIG SCHOOL’ AND YOUR FIRST CLASS
WE WERE SERIOUSLY ANXIOUS BUT FOR YOU JUST ANOTHER ‘MISS INDEPENDENCE’ TASK
LETTERLAND, MATHS AND LEARNING TO READ
YOU EXCELLED AT ALL THAT WITH INCREDIBLE SPEED
YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS CONTINUED THROUGH GRADES 2, 3 AND FOUR
YOUR PLACE IN THE SWIMMING TEAM HELPED YOUR SCHOOL WIN MORE

OUR MOVE TO AUSTRALIA… SAD FAREWELLS TO YOUR FRIENDS AND YOUR PETS 
BUT, GREAT EXCITEMENT YOU FELT AT ADVENTURES TO BE MET
A NEW SCHOOL--“METHODIST LADIES COLLEGE”
NEW FRIENDS--JUMPING A GRADE-- MET WITH SUCH POSITIVE COURAGE
YOU MADE US SO PROUD IN THE WAY YOU ADAPTED
MRS. WILLIAMSON SAID YOU WERE THEIR NEW CLASS ‘ASSETT’
.
THE ‘MR BEE’ SPELLING AWARD AND MANY MERITS LATER 
WE ALL GOT HOMESICK-- BUT YOUR POSITIVE NATURE DID NOT WAVER
THE DECISION WE MADE TO RETURN TO CAPE TOWN 
CAUSED YOU HEARTBROCKEN TEARS AND A PERMANENT FROWN
ONCE AGAIN A SAD FAREWELL TO YOUR NEW FOUND FRIENDS 
RETURNING TO S.A. FOR OLD ONES TO MAKE AMMENDS

IT WASN’T VERY LONG THAT YOU PICKED UP WHERE YOU LEFT OFF AT ALL
 ADDED TO YOUR TALENTS WERE NOW TEAM HOCKEY AND NETBALL

AS YOU APPROACHED THE FIRST OF YOUR TEEN YEARS
WITH YOUR LOOKS AND CHARM, INEVITABLY THE BOYFRIENDS WOULD APPEAR
SHOPPING, MOVIES AND MANY PARTY SLEEP-OVERS
CHOOSING TRUE FRIENDS AND DUMPING THE LOSERS
DANCE SHOWS AND DANCING EXAMS… YOU EXCELLED AT HIP- HOP
 FUN AND OF COURSE THE DESIRE TO SHOP

THE END OF JUNIOR SCHOOL-- THE FINAL ASSEMBLY—AWARDS
TROPHIES FOR SPORTSMANSHIP AND YOUR S.R.C. PRIZE GOT MANY APPLAUDS
SAD FEELINGS AT LEAVING YOUR OLD SCHOOL BEHIND 
EXCITEMENT AT STARTING HIGH SCHOOL WOULD SOON COME TO MIND
NO PROBLEM TO YOU, IT WAS ALL JUST A BREEZE 
AS YEAR BY YEAR YOU CONTINUED TO ACHIEVE
SWIMMING AND ‘A’ TEAM HOCKY MATCHES ON THE ASTRO TURF 
YOU EVEN STARTED TO LEARN HOW TO SURF
FRIDAY AFTERNOON CHRISTIAN MEETINGS AND EVENING CHURCH YOUTH
WE WERE SO HAPPY YOU FOUND GOD AND HIS TRUTH

THE REST OF HIGH SCHOOL PASSED IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE WHILE 
YOUR LIST OF ACHIEVEMENTS REMAINED EXCEPTIONALLY HIGH
YOUR ORGANISATIONAL SKILLS WERE ASTOUNDING
COPING WITH TOUGH SUBJECTS LIKE MATHS, SCIENCE AND ACCOUNTING
IN HOCKEY AND SWIMMING YOU MADE THE TOP TEAMS
NO SURPRISE AT ALL THAT SWIMMING COACHES MOVED IN ON THE SCENE.

THEY CULTIVATED YOUR TALENTS FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH
EVERY YOUR NIGHT YOUR PASSION SAW YOU DOING MANY LENGTHS
WEEKENDS OF GALA’S AND NATIONAL SWIMMING
S.A.SHORT COURSE, YOUR P.B’S, AND FAIR SHARE OF WINNING
TOGETHER WE CELEBRATED YOUR PLACE IN   W.P. SCHOOL CHAMPS THAT YEAR 
SO PROUD OF OUR BEAUTIFUL SWIMMER ALWAYS AHEAD OF HER PEERS 
.
FIRST YEAR AT UNIVERSITY YOU BECAME SO INDEPENDENT
 STARTING YOUR STUDIES AS A B.Sc. STUDENT
IT WAS ALSO THE YEAR YOU LEARNED TO DRIVE
GOT YOUR LICENSE—DAD SPOILT YOU—NEW CAR—RESPLENDENT


YOUR FAITH AND TRUST IN THE LORD STILL REMAINS FIRM
AS YOU WALK AND GROW SPIRITUALLY DAILY WITH HIM

SO MUCH HAS CHANGED, AND YET SOME THINGS REMAIN
YOU BEAUTY AND TALENTS SO EASILY MAINTAINED
YOUR  LOVE OF SWIMMING AND OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS IN WATER
YOU KNOW WE WILL ALWAYS BE YOUR NO. 1 SUPPORTERS
AND NOW YOU ARE 21, SWEETHEART 
YOUR WHOLE LIFE AHEAD OF YOU-- TODAY IS JUST THE START
IT SEEMS LIKE JUST YESTERDAY THAT YOU WERE BORN—
OUR DAUGHTER~LOVES BRIGHT SHINING LIGHT~ WE ADORE
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED IN EVERY WAY 
WISHING YOU GOD’S RICHEST BLESSINGS ON YOUR SPECIAL DAY
HAPPY 21ST BIRTHDAY TO OUR BABY GIRL

TO HAVE YOU AS A DAUGHTER HAS BEEN A REAL PLEASURE
-YOU HAVE AND ALWAYS WILL BE OUR MOST BEAUTIFUL TREASURE-

(FOOTNOTE: OUR DAUGHTER WILL BE 23 THIS YEAR, HAS COMPLETED HER BSc. AND HONOURS DEGREE’S IN PHYSIOLOGY AND GENETICS AND NOW DOING HER MASTERS DEGREE IN EXERCISE SCIENCE. SHE IS ALSO A PROFESSIONAL TRIATHLETE—DOING SWIMMING, CYCLING AND RUNNING AS ONE DISCLIPLINE)


Long poem by Jack Scott | Details |

Monofilamania

It is so hard to let go of love,
lovingly.

It sharks, 
unpeels more gut more quickly
than reel or reeler ever lost
in all those years of lazy inches
in and out:
casting,
winding in and playing out,
hardly fishing, rarely catching
anything
from the deepness out of sight,
hardly ever losing . . .
anything.

Blisters lust into the greedy thumb.
Impatient,
sore,
the startled brake lets go.

It dives full length into the never,
finds the limit of its leash,
pounds against its half-round prison,
demands unknot
at end of end of rope -
Let go!

Got you, shrieks the reel and reeler
cranking in the give and take.
The line is taut,
the weight upon it heavy, 
throbbing,
not docile,
numb, 
and waiting . . . 

. . .waiting for adrenaline:
explosion
against the angry, smoldering thumb.
Caught to catcher,
fish to fisher:
let me go!

It tries too hard to turn to something else: away.
Away and bottom still beyond the knot,
the creature climbs toward the light, 
the something.
Easy,
free,
her leap, an alchemy:
silver unto gold.

Sun shining.
Sea smiling,
crinkled all about.

Sad,
slow motion 
flight
of glints 
and droplets,
arcs,
returns,
displaces,
splashes;
gone, 
the yesses.

Million mile amnesia.
Buddha flashback:
a flash of tooth,
then placid lips close over any sign of youth . . .

. . . as if the fish had never been.
Gone?
-the fisher wonders:
gone?
gone forever?
Gone?

The line is limp
as if . . .
for all the years of it,
nothing at its other end.

A flash of recognition:
she leaps another time, 
not knowing if what held her holds.
Silver fish scales golden ladder
a sunbeam at a time,
and all the rungs of memory -
so slow,
breaks air an instant.

The line has held
and as she leaps, it claims her,
a thunder clap.
Arrested in her flight,
and broken,
she drops deadweight into the bucket sea-
fish to air to gold to water,
too bad.

Of the gold,
an afterglow centered in the thumb.
Did it happen?
Was she really there?
Was I?

Air turns to air once more, 
the fisherman to memory,
pig-a-back the job at hand,
because-
one slender monofilament insisting: no! 
Monofilamania,
and memory, another plastic,
refusing to let go.

Another time:
Kite,
my pretty lovely,
so flying and so softly spun,
you seemed the air to me.
So high and free,
so very near the sun,
my tears dissolve the earth’s connection.
The line my hands are holding:
to limit freedom at its height,
impossible without restraint-
the line between us,
  	subtle and so gossamer.
 		There, it glinted,
there! So very real.

Real . . .
The hook is realer.
Tangerine transfusion from the fastened lip,
transfuse dilution
bleeds unreckoned into the larger blue.
The sea - as wide as weakness -
sucks the strength without a hunger.
Tired, the hooked,
and tiring even more,
the line grows stronger, 
shortening toward the bobber boat.
I’ve got her, cries the fisherman,
orgasmic,
raping at dead weight,
dragging mystery toward the kitchen
-on his mind is steak.
Slaughter, separate from supper,
passion with a knife, 
the knife . . .


. . . the knife is ready
held tight between the skinless thumb,
and vendetta fingers -
five Sicilian brothers 
waiting for their sister to come home.

The other hand around the rod
is closing on the lover’s throat.
The rod’s erect,
the reel is angry.
Come, my dear, come, come.

She hears the music of the end,
the bowstring whine of gut
still lean and taut from her weight alone,
hears the rhythm of the reel
and tries to run once more
-provoking lust to snatch still harder-

but can’t . . .
. . . is free at last
of strength
surrendered with the last of blood:
quicksilver nearing zero-
and two dollars worth of ice.

Maiden fish,
(a virgin: never dead before)
betrayed and penetrated,
(it’s time now to give in, enjoy)
rests her weight upon the line,
sinks upward,
drowning,
unrebelling
toward the bottom of the boat.

The whore! I see her in the water!
She gave me quite a fight.

The captain, ready with the gaff,
the lover, in his rented swivel chair,
seize her from the water.
The maiden’s heartbeat
is faint and futile as a final cry of rape.
Her breath is fear, yet sounds like passion
at the very end.
Her swoon is now complete.

Her swain is prickled with his heat.
His blood pounds within his thumb.
He gloats,
is left alone with her.
He ponders . . .
. . . while he does,
she pales and sheds her rainbow.
Her eyes turn glassy from the air,
and death.
She’s turned to meat.

He lusts at memory for a moment,
then dries the little sweat
and goes forward for a beer,
and band aids.

The captain’s seen it all before,
surgically removes the hook
and tidies up the gear.
He and the mate carry her to the ice 
and lay her out within the cold.
The mate disinfects the deck
with sea water and a stiff brush.

Returning with his second beer,
a badge of gauze and Vaseline upon his thumb,
the lover is confused.
The deck, shipshape,
so bare 
of scales and blood
it all might not have happened.
Then there would be hope.

The mate calls him to the ice chest
for the viewing,
opens it . . 
I’ve lost her. There she is.

The smell . . . it must wash off !
Time to go home.
The sea is empty.
It is over.
Done.
My thumb!


Long poem by matthew harris | Details |

Letter to taeljejohn

uncomfortableness, and hesitation arose that you might reassess a possibility for friendship or.... whatever with me.

A disappointment set in place in the event that based on some facet of my being (inexplicable flaws within this corporeal human male), forecast that an about face (booked on charges inherent in this googly eyed, earth-linked, kool hotmail of a yahoo) would be un liked!

Juno what i mean? 

In retrospect, no matter that this average boyish chap desires enjoyment, he admits that ordinary punctuating various stages of development difficulty coping found him msn (miss sin, missin, missing, et cetera) on ordinary interpersonal experiences!

No matter yours truly usually finds me each morning, noon or night conjuring up maximizing temporary residence on this planet earth versus bemoaning those futile and essentially counterproductive mind games sans could a, might a, should a, would a...

today = the moment to cherish, enjoy, help others, ponder the remaining years
since fruitless to expend tears
for suppressed emotional, financial, grammatical, hormonal, physical, and spiritual angst
 that roiled mine inner sanctum - mainly from decades in the past
   which unseen scars with humor this fellow (who by the way likes you) wears!

Notice the sly inclusion of my comment per -- affinity, desirability, rhapsody for you
although just but a mere inkling prevails about an ye taelje john thru
a rather contrived manner - albeit an online adult oriented website - amongst a slew
which yields to this bipedal hominid a scant few
initial responses - as if a ghost app paired in the recipient email - going boo
which unwittingly seems to turn the ivy blue!

So...no matter a constancy of follow-up electronic communiques occurs from ye
bringing tears of joy, that nobody can see
while simultaneously delivering digital glee
a reality check restrains proclivity and predilection to let thoughts run wild and free!

Immense and immeasurable mounts in moi little rock
inducing an electric arc for myself to kin neck embedded in all this schlock
for a sixth sense arises that this holme body strongly suspects yar self 
 to generate sunny watts as an s spy she lee Sherlock

but, reticence to gush with ebullience reins in a cascade
of utter delight washing o'er this less than satisfactory mwm 
 who as a boy and youth happened to b a frayed
of his own shadow - while walking along the boulevard of broken dreams
 listening to the sounds of silence on a green-day.

Thus => the following from one 

Cerebral being ™ in the am and pm
 
This ordinary human
Finds himself a mystery
Within the terrestrial
Firmament and frequently
Feels in a feverish pitch
At his existence
That seers the temple
Mounted upon this slender
Frame - wrought by the
Combination of genetics
In tandem with exercise
Which latter helps to
Sublimate the coiled 
Tension wound tightly 
Like an indestructible spring 
Without a healthy medium at large 
To channel emotions fraught within
Me might find demise
That would rent asunder literate fellow 
And thus annihilate without a trace
One true valued father of two us special
Lovely lasses as just another statistic among 
The obituaries!
 
As the world turns (indiscriminately oblivious of the harrowing days per one simian), an agreeable, amiable, edible, immeasurable, likeable, pleasurable, sensible woman (such as yourself - predicated on a gut level intuition) goads more seriousness to share

Plaintive unheard heart strings o mine that wail
Displeased with this marriage fraught with travail
As if in a maelstrom whip-lashed vessel without a sail
Yet - averse to lambaste or rail
Against abby (whereby we pass like two ships in the night) who married this male
When each of us happened to seem more similar 
   And thought each ourselves to fail
At any endeavor, though now confidence 
   Buoys my heart while she doth ail

And exemplifies attitudes, beliefs, efforts, 
   Idiosyncrasies, pathos that life does rot
Ill suited to Matthew Scott, 
   Whose bon vivant manifesting faith in him
   Perhaps from herself deferring many domestic 
   And child rearing tasks not
Of course being boasting - even when scissoring the umbilical cord
   As a now beaming papa, whose daughters 
   Blithely ignore "mother" a lot
Thus necessitating this quest 
   For a counterpart to offer succor 
   To eden (age 16) and shana (14 on february 4th, 2013) 
   Yet accepts that i must dispel any dreamy fantasy even this ours - a mere jot
At this juncture knowing full well how unwise to set myself up for disappointment
   By thinking and rushing like a fool, 
   Where angels fear to tread
   Though "chutzpah" i got!

U r slowly filling my mindscape with joy
Thank you so much - for accepting without complaint how atypically words this writer wannabe 
   Named Matthew Scott Harris dozen ploy.



Long poem by Peter Duggan | Details |

In memory of Bob

In memory of Bob
A true story.

It was in spring of two thousand when I first saw Bob. I’d just started working at Perth Dental hospital, and in fact it was my first day there. I walked up to the front door of this building, but it wasn’t yet opened. So I turned around and went to sit in the bus shelter which was just outside the building. As I went to sit down I noted a dark skinned gentleman sitting there with a happy, benign look on his face. He was about five feet eight give or take a little, and he was rather a thickset man who looked like he’d done his fair share of hard work in his sixty years or more.

     There was something about this Gentleman that I could not quite put my finger on. He had a certain charisma about him; not the phony kind of charisma that one seen in the car salesman or the philanderer who messes with women’s heads, no, Bob had a kind of friendly smile for everyone that he met, and he seemed to draw people into him with his love, and gigantic heart. I knew as soon as I met him that Bob was most definitely for me.

      As Bob looked at me and smiled, the whole world seemed to open up. He said “Ow ya  going mate” in a loud ebullient manner, then we started to chat. Bob was like myself, a thinker, and straight away we started philosophizing about this, that, and the other, and it was like we had known each other forever. Then all of a sudden I found Bob talking about death, and the difference in the way the Maori people faced death, compared to the rather the silly way us white folk look at the subject with great fear in our hearts. Now this had always interested me, and  somehow it just seemed natural to talk to this Maori gentlemen on this subject, and we spoke about it till the doors opened and it was time to work.

      I don’t think anything happens just by chance, and I definitely have this feeling that Bob and I were meant to meet, and I really think this was a major destiny thing. I have found during the course of my life,  that as I am aging, I can feel something pushing me into a certain direction, and I always felt that Bob was part of all this; and I had much to learn from him. Although I have never believed in organized religion, and never followed one I have always felt deeply spiritual, and I have met many people who I learned from, and Bob was most definitely one of them with all his great wisdom and patience. As I came to know Bob, we had many dialogues together, on many subjects. Bob used to love music and could always have time to plonk away on his guitar. He used to come round to my place and we would play songs together, though both he and I were no Eric Clapton’s, I would bang around on my guitar and play the harp, while we would both take out turns at singing. We’d have a smoke or a beer or two, and we’d play songs all day long,  ahhh, I remember those days well, the memories are so strong.

     Bob was one hell of a man, I could tell that he had been a wild one in his youth,
But when I knew him in his sixties he was an icon of wisdom and virtue; he had a kind word for everyone, and gave all his time to anybody who needed him, always.
He used to hear me waffling on like an idiot, trying to make him like me [as I always did] but never once did he tell me how foolish I was, he would just smile knowingly at me. He used to stand there at the window for hours, just drinking in the trees, or the clouds in the sky, and yet he was so aware, I used to try to sneak up on him; it couldn’t be done. His awareness was incredible.

     Then one day Bob fell ill with terminal cancer, and he knew that he had very little time left on this Earth. He lay there sick for days in intolerable pain,  but you never heard one complaint from him, even when he only had days to live, he was still worrying about the welfare of others. When the day finally come for Bob to leave his shell; he was lying there in deep sleep, when all of a sudden he woke up, with a smile on his face. His children asked him ‘Dad, do you want some pain killers” Bob laughed, compassion written all over his face, and he said to them ‘Not one of you has a clue, have you’ and he died with a big smile on his face.

   His daughter got in touch with me, and told me about his death, and also told me that his last wish was to have me watch his soul leave his body. I felt very honored about this and went and sat with his body [as Maoris do]. I got the most peaceful feeling come to me [which I presume was his spirit leaving his body] as I watched his silent body, a Mari war stick and a beautiful rose lay across his chest. I still see it, and I feel blessed by it. He was my Maori warrior, and I adored the man.
 


Long poem by Christine Phillips | Details |

Souls On Fire

We have been observing the expanse of the parched land for many years, a land that stood the test of time and captivated by myriad dreams unfolding through the footsteps of the ages thus penetrating our lives. We gazed at the vast mountains and high lands with its luscious vegetation stretching thousands of miles from across them, Autumn on one side, Summer on the other, and Spring reluctantly emerging from a gruesome Winter that paralyzed the inhabitance of nature, stripping it from its wholesome prominence while it convalesce from the battered and bruised earth. 

We languished at the sudden disappearance of the water valley and the vast landscape around it. As far as our mind could reach, and as far as our feet could travel we trod upon the visible land within our reach. Land that has never been inhabited stared at us; land that has never been farmed is waiting to be ploughed. I could hear my great, great, grandfather and my grandfather before him shouting at the boys to get out of bed, harnessed the horses and start plowing the land again. 

We reminisce over acres of lands that our ancestors have fought for, land that spilled blood and claim the lives of innocent souls and fearless warriors, land that expands from ten generation, stood before us bare and empty, weeping for the souls who have fought furiously to preserve them. 

This land that has fed us for more than a hundred years lay waste before our naked eyes, the land that God gave us to feed the next generation has been sold out to strangers. The land is infested with dilapidated old building and at the whistle of the wind they are destined to collapse. They spread out all around the city and is inhabited by ruthless strangers and priced high despite their aging structure.

We lament the days spent on this land but foresee hope for the future. We searched for the farms, but they have disappeared, we look for the streams but they have dried up. Our bodies are polluted with toxic substance from contaminated food washing up on our shores from the other side of the globe, food unfit for human consumption have replaced the natural food on our grandfather's farm.

Oh great God that watches from every corner of the earth, extend your mercies and cause the land to flourish once more. You have given us land so that we can eat; you have given us land so that we can have enough in time of drought. You hold the universe securely in the palm of your hand and expand it so that it can reach everyone. The land is precious in your hand, no one can bargain for it and no price can be paid for it. 

When everything is stripped away, and the money diminishes, when our strength fails the land is here to stay. This is the land that will feed the younger generation; this is the land that will produce our crops. Powerful God, proliferate the land once again, mend the broken edges, and rescue your children who have been doped with hatred, intoxicated with bitterness and sedated with evil desires. Empower them and eradicate the poisonous substance from their perishing souls.

We gazed at the vastness penetrating the earth, and see land waiting to be occupied exposed to brutality, exasperate with atrocities and evil works. Great big God, save your children from the open gutters and trenches that awaits them, save the mothers, their suckling and toddlers who have been ravished from their homes and recruited into ruthless activities to torment and demoralize innocent people’s minds. Save them from the snares that await them, the tribulations surrounding their homes and the pestilence that seeks after their souls. 

We traveled the entire land, and hear you calling out the young men to till the ground. We can hear you beckoning the young men to throw down their weapons, clean up the garbage and farm on their grandfather’s land. They can hear you but they are too fragile to comply; they have weakened themselves with substances that make them vulnerable and unreliable. Emerge you powerless youth, transpire from your defenseless state, purge your body with clean drinking water and start cultivating the land again.
 
What else do we have but the land that you have given us? No one can take it away from us because it belongs to you. Strengthen the young men to till the land again and plant on fruitful ground. Bless the earth, and endorse it with your favor, thank you for this journey you are a mighty savior.
                                                                              
                                                                       ©2014 Christine Phillips



Long poem by Keith Bickerstaffe | Details |

Obsession


...inspired by 'Portrait Of A Lady' by T.S. Eliot


On winter days the view outside is nebulous at best,
within, the furniture is as it always was, and I am waiting,
waiting for a glimpse of you to silence my equivocating.
Somber is my attitude, the light is dim, curtains at rest,
as dust mites dance, the clock ticks unobtrusively,
marking time, the chamber maids make ready for my guest,
and dust the tables, clean the silver, place the flowers perfectly.
You return from 'La Boheme,' affected by the tragedy, 
emboldened by Puccini's art, transfiguring his sadness
to an everlasting theme of hope eternal, with no misery.
A small group of confederates who seize the meaning clearly,
examine his conceptions with a true and honest face,
only those who can conceptualize his grace.
And we are bereft of conversation.
The curtain falls between our faces,
we are left with little else to say.
Gone are common talk, and airs and graces,
walls have grown, and bars along the way.
Your friends have grown in stature, tried and true,
reflecting what you feel within your soul,
and you must follow them and share their view,
as long as it will bring you to your goal.
Friendship is a bond that can't be broken,
even though you dally with your heart,
you cannot spring the lock, that sacred token,
that keeps your deepest feelings true to art.
Your friends are pure disciples of your creed,
they will legitimize your need
to pave your way to conquer and succeed.

Within the mellow of the violins,
the sweetness of the celli and the horns,
I hear a tattoo beating all alone,
the tympani begin to pound 
a loud crescendo of their own.
I listen, there is something out of tone.
With cigarettes and sherry, unconcerned,
we wander through the garden unaware, 
take in the sights and pass without a care,
as if our similarities don't matter,
we give ourselves to nonsense, idle chatter.

Roses now are brightly blooming,
to your friends now you are calling.
I know not of what you speak,
I cannot fathom your delight.
You say: 'Try to understand my mission,
learn to trust in things unseen,
I must find what nature seeks
and fathom its eternal meaning.
Youth will never gather roses,
never see beyond the garden.'
I will stay for now, trapped in the cold.

Though I'll remember nature's wonders,
sunsets and the breath of spring,
feel the wind blow through my hair
and know the thrill of sunrise cresting.

We see the universe as dancing,
two such different creatures trancing,
we two will never understand
the private notions of the other,
even if we take each other's hand.

Coming close to your destruction
you will see the other side,
who says who has satisfied
requirements for a better life?
Friendship, if we could but find it,
yields the seeds of greater profit,
greater than the seeds of strife.

I now remain just as I ever was.

I shall take my morning walk,
communing with the birds and talking
to myself while reading Kafka,
glancing at the latest headlines.
Dear Stravinsky's 'Rite' is slighted,
(he'll return when ears are righted.)
When I smell a rose I'm prompted 
to recall a certain lady, gifted with
a new perception, I must sadly 
take exception, for the moment anyway.

The chill of morning, people yawning,
I am tired, the blush of dawning has me
feeling ill at ease, my spirit sags,
I barely reach the second floor.
'When will you return? Is Paris so much more
than you have here?' is my unanswered question.
I drag my heels to breakfast, 
listless as a lazy dog, and nibble toast,
my countenance as pallid as a ghost.

A letter would be welcomed. 
I shall miss you; there, I've said it. 
I am your friend, are you not mine? 
Tenuous and strained, two casual 
acquaintances who share so little time,
we brush elbows, like strangers passing
on a platform, sharing sidelong glances,
afraid to say hello. I watch you as you go.

Others swore we would be close,
peas in a pod, familiar.
Instead there is no warmth, not yet.
Were you to try we might combine
and nibble toast together, and take
a walk, your hand in mine, and
stammer conversation 'til we knew
there was no reason e'er to rue.
I shall sit with pleasant thoughts of you.

Desperate, I ponder on your death,
scant breath expended twixt the two of us,
and loneliness an ache too harsh to mention,
pen in hand and no one to subscribe.
I'll scarce recall the softness of your skin,
or search your heart to find what lies within.
Should I be bold, or take a gentler path?
encourage you... would I incur your wrath?
If you were to die I'd never know your truth,
and I should lose the vigour of my youth.


Long poem by Terry O'Leary | Details |

At Heaven's Gate - Parts 1 and 2

PART 1:          THE MEETING

Alone one night neath lantern light, I trudged a weary mile.
Forlorn, I went with shoulders bent (the storms around me howled)
until I met a Silhouette behind a sultry smile – 
She gazed with eyes that mesmerize (Her body caped and cowled)
and stayed my way with question fey... ‘Why don’t you while awhile?’

The churchyard groaned, an organ moaned, the bells of midnight chimed
as wanton winds awoke and dinned, and mistrals multiplied.
A prostitute – not shrill but mute, with gestures pantomimed –
snuck by in haste, with tracks untraced, beneath the evening tide.
The Persian moon, like arced harpoon, arose and slowly climbed.

The Silhouette (a pale brunette) arched eyebrows meant to please,
and down the lanes, twixt windowpanes, the shadows danced and sighed.
A meadowlark within the dark, somewhere beyond the breeze,
embellished Her with wisps of myrrh while deigning to confide
to nightingales the whispered tales of human vanities.

She doffed her cloak before She spoke with tunes of sorrow sung
(like mandolins, as night begins, when mourning day’s demise)
and spun Her tale of grim travail and tears She'd shed when young.
As jagged volts of thunderbolts lit up the dismal skies,
the creeping fog concealed a bog in coils of curling tongues.

Through summer vales and winter gales Her secret thoughts were voiced.
Midst storms so cruel (neath lightning’s jewel that glistered on the ridge)
She reminisced, She touched... we kissed... Her lips were wet and moist.
A lighthouse dimmed, while moonbeams skimmed across a distant bridge
to avenues where residues of shallow shades rejoiced.


PART 2:          HER TRAGIC TALE

“Midst sweet perfume of youthful bloom, the lonely spirit braves
and often cries and sometimes dies in quest of her amour.”

While starry-eyed, a ship I spied, a’ sail upon the waves –
The galleon docked, the seagulls flocked, the Captain swept ashore
where, debonair with gypsy flair, he led his salty knaves.

While passing by, he caught my eye – I tried to hide a blush,
for ambiance of innocence leaves fire’s ice congealed.
His gaze (defined by eyes that shined) beheld my cheek a’ flush.
I bowed my head while caution fled, I felt my fate was sealed
– a bird in spring with fledgling wing – he’d snared a  falling thrush.

He said ‘Hello’ – I answered ‘No’ and yet before he’d gone
said I, ‘I’ll wait at Heaven’s Gate not far beyond the Pale’.
At dusk he came neath moon aflame, and left before the dawn
just humming tunes along the dunes that lined the sandy trail
beside a pond where morning yawned, where swam an ebon swan.

We met again, and once again, and once again, again
entangled in a love called sin, in whirls of make-believe.
While in my arms, with voice that charms, said he ‘I must explain –
the tide awaits at morning’s gates and I must take my leave’.
Then tempests formed and vapors swarmed in ardor’s hurricane.

‘Forsake your home and we may roam’ he smiled as if to tease
and still naive, said I ‘I’ll leave, in silver buckled shoes’.
He took the helm in search of realms, before the morning breeze –
with tearful eyes, I bade goodbyes with fare-thee-well adieus 
and sailed above a wave of love across the seven seas.

We swept one morn around Cape Horn and sped for Gold Coast Bay.
With naught to reck, I strolled on deck, a baby at my breast,
while zephyrs blew and seagulls flew above the ocean’s spray.
Our ship soon moored, we went ashore and off to Fortune’s Quest –
with gold doubloons which shone like moons, he gambled through the day.

Two deuces wild... he thinly smiled... another card was drawn –
he called and raised with eyes half glazed, was dealt a dismal three.
With betting tight throughout the night, the final ace was gone
and so he lost... at what a cost... alas the prize was me –
with empty bag and pauper’s swag, he left me doomed at dawn.

A buccaneer with ring in ear sneered ‘now, my dear, you’re mine’.
He held my wrists to thwart my fists and then... my honor stained.
In midnight’s swash, the sky awash with tiny tears of brine,
I broke his clutch with nothing much of me that still remained:
a residue when he was through, left clinging to a vine.

In morning dew, the good folks knew, and spurned me in my plight.
The preacher man pronounced a ban and wouldn’t condescend,
ignored my pleas on bended knees and prayers by candlelight.
While cast aside, my baby died... my world was at an end.
Until this day, I’ve made my way beneath the shades of night.

Continued in Part 3


Long poem by Terry O'Leary | Details |

Another Cruel Link in their Chain

         Another Cruel Link in their Chain 

	1.   Beginnings 

Her babe was her joy, such a beautiful boy ,
	and he suckled her breast till the end...
The Massa sought cash, bestowed mammy a lash,
	sold her babe to a gentrified friend
It flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
	yet another cruel link in their chain

With mammy not there, Sammy dared not to dare
	but to bide near the edge of the night
But nevertheless one must always outguess
	or absorb burning stings of the bite
It flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
	yet another cruel link in their chain

Though learning the rules in the shadows of fools
	as he grew to a leery lean lad
He often defied but he never once cried
	although whipped at the post whene’er bad
It flits like a flash,  a lithe leathery lash,
	yet another cruel link in their chain


	2.   Youth

The cotton gin broke and nobody spoke,
	so the Massa said “BENNY’S TO BLAME”
But Sammy said ‘No...  Massa, jus caint be so,
	no ’tain’t Benny, ’tain’t Benny’s sore name’
It flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
	yet another cruel link in their chain

“LOOK, SEE IN HIS EYES HOW THAT  N*G***  BOY LIES” –
	- replied Sam ‘no I’s tellin da truth’
But daring to speak earned him scars for his cheek
	and so blemished the bloom of his youth
It flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
	yet another cruel link in their chain

“THE COTTON GIN’S BROKE, AND THAT JUST AIN’T NO JOKE”
	and he called upon Benny to pay
“WELL, BEN’LL NOW SWIM FROM THE END OF A LIMB”
	just as Sam feared the Massa would say
It flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
	yet another cruel link in their chain

Dark faces soon blanched; Benny bended a branch
	near the base of a broken oak tree 
His body hung bare as it swung in the air
	and the buzzards and crows shrieked with glee
It flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
	yet another cruel link in their chain


	3.   Flight

Sam’s feet were unclad, as befitting a lad
	as alone as a stone in his path
So oft on the run neath the sly sliding sun
	being followed and feeling god’s wrath
It flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
	yet another cruel link in their chain

Surrounded and caught brought his efforts to naught,
	child in chains at the end of his trek
Winds wept as he went, with his spirit unbent,
	a cold collar of steel ’round his neck
It flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
	yet another cruel link in their chain


	4.   Life

Sam grew to a man, branded ‘boy’ by the klan,
	as they spat on the trail that he tread
If he raises his gaze or he wanders or strays
	the pack promise to sever his head
It flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
	yet another cruel link in their chain

Once Sam found a wife who they ripped from his life,
	yes along with the babe at her breast
(Was it simply their greed or by heaven decreed? ...)
	well, with hindsight you might guess the rest
It flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
	yet another cruel link in their chain



	5.   Endings

From phantoms of fright neath the frail foggy night
	Sammy soared as he fled to escape
He no longer crawled (heeding freedom that called)
	through the darkness, a black hole agape
It flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
	yet another cruel link in their chain

Unleashed! Frenzied dogs hounding Sam through the bogs,
	(baying beasts neath the bloody red moon)
White fangs intermeshed as they mangled his flesh,
	freedom flayed through the pale afternoon
It flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
	yet another cruel link in their chain

Sam’s body was torn leaving little to mourn
	but there’s really no need to despair
And there’s no need to cry for his spirit can’t die,
	being borne by bound men everywhere
It flits like a flash, a lithe leathery lash,
	yet another cruel link in their chain




EPITAPH SAM Revolted and clashed ’gainst the cruel leather lash and broke free from the choke of the chain
EPILOGUE Those parts of the past that we gaze at aghast reveal harrowing questions quite plain - Why people so free, just like you, just like me, were so happy inflicting such pain? Why we bask in the throes of humanity’s woes while we wait while the tyrannies reign? And I’m wondering too (’cause I don’t have a clue) ... might we each be a link in their chain?


Long poem by Nola Perez | Details |

EULOGY FOR FRANK

My father died prematurely while away on 
a business trip from a rogue blood clot to the heart  
I never doubted he loved me, would have liked me, 
(not the same thing), adult to adult, provided I 
was not too strong a woman for him.  He was difficult-- 
a Henry VIII of the times, two divorces, a first wife 
we never knew, one from my mother when I was six, 
then heated voices from their bedroom with a third, 
heard in darkness beyond my door, hands over my ears.  
But, he was DADDY. the god-like person who emceed 
his daughter's birthdays, planned games, gave out prizes, 
while a backstage stepmom provided cake.  Cake 
mistress, fond father.  Thus, I learned to turn to men.

Tennessee Williams wrote, "My sister was quicker
at everything than I."  I was like that, maybe not quicker 
than my brothers, but quick to fall in love with cities,
objects, water anywhere: tide pools, oceans, rivers,
mountain streams, stately geese, lake ducks in queues,
the vermillion of winter sunsets, purity of cumulus 
in a summer sky, the scarlet flash of a cardinal from tree 
to tree.  Good luck, always, but with bad luck, I always 
fell in love with impossible men, ones who left me, or I left 
them.  The husband who stayed? He was the true one.  
Then, there was Mr. K, my high school principal, a dead ringer 
for Thomas Wolfe, with whom the girl I was must have
thought she could go home again.  His costume
"de rigueur" was a rumpled white shirt, black trousers
splayed with chalk dust, coal black hair, and an imposing
presence no one took issue with, maybe not even his
British wife, teaching English in the same school.

I sent him my poems by a classmate to his office, too shy 
to deliver  them myself.  Years later, "Poetry mash notes,"
a colleague said, inciting laughter in a poetry audience with 
whom I shared my youthful infatuation, the energy lingering 
long after he signed my graduation diploma, because Yes, 
he read my poems, and Yes, I sat dazzled in his English Lit 
class to "Beowulf," "Chaucer," and the Shakespeare plays we
took turns reading aloud.  When he chose another to read
Portia instead of me, "for her gentle voice," I was devastated,
yet when a boy spoke out in class to criticize my poems:
"No one can understand what she writes," Mr. K. replied 
"On the contrary, she writes about very complex things with 
very simple language."  This praise never left me.

Years after, moving to Atlanta with my husband and small
children, our paths crossed again.  Living there 
at the same time, Mr. K. and I found each other in an 
Episcopal parish, its satisfying high-church "smells and bells" 
the only show in town, "Spiky," his wife said.  There, our
friendship deepened, until Mr. K. moved to England with his wife, 
she returning home to complete the cycle, finish out the years 
at point of origin. We do go home again, Thomas Wolfe not-
withstanding, as did I, seeking toward close of life 
the comfort and substance of birthplace.

Mr. K. returned occasionally to Atlanta for a visit with his son.
He would call me, and it was then that we met for dinner,
most often at Zazu's an intimate bar and restaurant on Peachtree.  
What did we talk about sitting across a table from each other?
I do not now remember, but once I observed him glancing at
his aging hands and comparing them to mine, younger by a few,
completely irrelevant years.  I once asked him as he entered
his later years if he ever felt "old."  He said No, he felt the same
as he always had.  This was a revelation: I imagined people 
felt as old inside as they looked.  This is not the case, as 
I was to discover in my own lifetime.

On one evening I did not know would be the last time, Mr. K.
and I sat in my car in darkness after dinner in front of his son's
house.  As he prepared to leave, he said, "I don't know how I shall
get along without you, though I've been without you all these
years.  We never touched, save in the bond of friendship, and more's 
the pity.  Some time passed.  I wrote a letter to Mr. K.and his wife.  
It was returned unopened with a message on the envelope, 
"Both deceased."  In my car, then, that last night, it was Adieu -- 
To God, not Au Revoir.  Now, with "All time, all attitudes washing 
away," as I wrote in a poem called "Fernandina," he lives 
in the room in the heart where no one enters but me.
No need for a phone call.  I hold the key.


Long poem by Gerald Kithinji | Details |

Purge Our Consciences

From my lowly bachelor’s house
Proudly christened ‘Embassy Fair’
I woke up to the chirping of birds
On the trees above and across the vale
And the riverine bushes in-between
I woke up to the crowing of cocks
And the mooing of cows
I woke up to the leaping of calves
And the bleating of anxious goats;
To the braying of the donkey
The barking of my brother’s dog
And to the mumbling of the sheep.

There was no time to brood
Or think negative thoughts
Or linger on yesterday’s deeds.
I opened up all my senses
And voluptuously drank of the new day.
As my feet stroked the dew
On my way to the reserve fields
My eyes fathomed Mt. Ithangune
The eastern fortress of Mt. Kenya
Itself a mere one thousand feet higher.
Then we were mountain warriors
And our locale elevated us accordingly 
Leaving no room for flippancy
Even when it was flipping cold.

Times were when our men grazed there
On the slopes of Kirima kia Ng’ombe
Times were when Omo elders made rain there
Little did we know then (as now?)
That the God of Rain had slumbered
And demanded pure white fattened rams
Delivered by pure white-haired men
Whose penance upon the mountain
Would atone the sins of the Meru clans
And make our mountain God weep
And let his tears soften our rich soils
To ward off barrenness once more
And banish famine from our midst;
And as our fast-flowing rivers swelled
So, too, our cattle and our granaries.

For although our God lived at the apex
Yet he allowed us to get this close
And so to commune with him
Without touching his garment
Craftily spread over the three peaks.
Krapf and Rebmann never knew this
They were mere trekkers, mere explorers
Of a continent pregnant with mystery
That their kinsmen sought to make a home,
A distant home away from home.

One time I HEARD THEM TEACH THAT Krapf
Was the first man to see Mt Kenya
To which I responded, ‘Really? Aren’t you kidding?’
So what kind of men were the mountain warriors-
Blind men? The Meru, the Kikuyu, the Embu,
The Wakamba, the Masai, the Samburu, the Borana-
Were they all blind men then? Stone blind-
All those Africans that had known it before Krapf?

Desecration followed desecration
As alien men sought to climb Mt Kenya
And alien men sought to expropriate
Not just a field but all our land.
From a handful of missionaries and clerks
To shiploads of coolies and soldiers
To throngs of settlers and administrators
To segregation, imposition and subjugation
Till the people- wary, weary and desperate
Rose from the caves, valleys and forests
From every blessed nook and cranny
Chanting MAU, MAU, MAU, MAU
(Mwingereza Aende Ulaya
Mwafrica Apate Uhuru- 
White Man Return to Europe
African man Attain Independence!)

Though a youngster and much afraid
I sang that, too, in my youthful heart
Forbidden, I still sang it, in my heart
For I had seen the sword on my mum’s throat
As they sought to extract a confession
I had seen the village burn down
And I had seen the limp body of a fighter
Paraded through the village paths
But that was over half a century ago
And although I had seen the aftermath
Of Kaya Bombo and Kaya Tiwi in Kwale
On my way here (but thought it a dream)
And the agony of the 1998 Al Qaeda attacks
I had not seen much else; nor will I ever see
The likes of Eldoret, Nakuru, or Naivasha
After the 2007 election- I ardently pray not
For this is not the white man in Africa
That we are up against, surely not here
Not this long after regaining our independence
No! Not here in my beloved, bounteous Kenya.

It is commercial and political greed
A vicious, ugly cross-breed beast perhaps
That is all there is, that is all there can be
And these we must banish from our hearts
For who can bear to see Kenyan blood
Flowing down River Tana or Athi or Nzoia
Or swelling the banks of Lake Victoria, Nakuru or Turkana?
Who can plead such a case before God
And come away with his soul intact?
Have the Kenyan people not chosen
Through a brand new constitution
Their route to freedom, justice and progress?
Have they not decreed their own destiny?
Let me hear it from you and you and you
Whose hand or sword or bullet or arrow
Was stained by the blood of woman, man or child
Let me hear it from you who schemed or aided
And you who lent your tongue or thought
Or simply sought refuge in silence and waited
For something, anything to happen to ‘them.’
Let me hear you say, ‘Enough, enough!
Purge our consciences O Mighty One!’


Long Poems